Tag Archive: tragedy


“Another high school shooting!”

i was sitting in a typical american diner this morning waiting for my friend and half watching the news when this story came on.

a story or two later it was, “Another suicide bombing” and this time a double suicide bombing.

the question this raises in me is, ‘Does this event shock me?’

Do both of these events, as individual horrific events of destruction, not simply ‘the news’, trigger in me a revulsion and a pain, some kind of deep empathic groaning? Do they make me cry out, “WHY?” to God? Do they make me cry out, “Why?” to society? Do they make me sad? Does a little something die somewhere in the recesses of my soul?

Because it really should. There has to be something huger, more hectic, than just “Another…”

For the friends and family and other relatives of the victims [and even the killers] it is a whole lot more than “Another…” This one hit home. Does it need to be someone we know before it has the same effect for us? For me?

And why even write this? What difference is another blog post going to make? The answer for the most part is a huge zero. A bigger danger than “Another…” is definitely that our response is limited to social media type words and empty platitutes which make us feel like we’ve done something when in actual fact we’ve done maybe the opposite of something. We’ve gossiped it all up on to a page or screen and so we can pat ourselves on the back and feel like we’ve made a difference [How’s that Kony protest going, by the way?’] but really where is the change?

I’ll be honest. For me this is a reminder. Simply that. Not trying to change the world although that would be great and hopefully the more we think and wrestle and really dig into this stuff the more creative solutions or resolutions we can come up with to do something. But a reminder to me that this was a tragic event. Each one.

We can’t forget! We can’t let each isolated tragic incident become just another “Another…” Each new incident has a community or communities that are irreversibly affected. We have to join in the mourning every time. Not get dragged down by it, but we dare not become immune.

Remember. Remember. Remember. Then act. We have to move towards action.

Who here has an idea for where we go next?

[As i went to Google to get details for the shooting it turned out to have been a report linked to last week’s Santa Monica school shooting which can be found here. The suicide bombing took place in Damascus, Syria here.]


what happened yesterday with the bomb explosions after the Boston Marathon that up til now have claimed three lives and injured well over 100 people [with ten or more amputations that occurred with some of the survivors] was a tragedy.

any time someone is killed it is a tragic thing and more so because this was something that was ruthlessly planned and carried out.

and Facebook knew about it – scrolling down my news feed page there was mention after mention of it with people sending prayers and good wishes to the families of people involved or just stunned that it had happened.

a little bit later i saw online that there had been a huge 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Iran with 40 people killed [so far] and when i went back to Facebook i saw mention after mention of supper and the latest show and movie news and work stuff and i have yet to see any mention of the earthquake.

in fact when i went to find a link to an article on the earthquake i found this list of news items under the heading ‘World News’:

1. Boston explosions: three dead, no arrests, no claims of responsibility

2. Boston marathon blasts: hunt begins for perpetrators – live updates

3. Carlos Arredondo hailed as hero for Boston Marathon rescue efforts

4. Alaska military policeman jailed for selling secrets to ‘Russian spy’

5. Huge 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits near Iran-Pakistan border

So Boston, Boston, Boston, a guy who was jailed for selling secrets, oh and by the way there was this little earthquake that killed 40 plus people.

please hear me on this. i am not saying that what happened in Boston was not a tragedy, but what i am saying is that what happened in Iran is equally a tragedy. what is important when an event like this happens is to be shocked and to grieve and mourn with those who have lost friends and family and to stand alongside them and to also try and bring justice and stop something like that from ever happening again… but at the same time it is so important to keep some perspective – this is not the most tragic thing happening today…

for just a glimpse of the kind of context i am talking about, here are some facts and figures from The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, which i don’t see happening in peoples Facebook statuses [stati?] or Twitter feeds day after day… and this is stuff that Americaland with all its resources [even just a fraction of their military budget] could prevent:

Overview of World Hunger
For millions of people, the fight against hunger is a matter of life and death. 841 million people in the world do not have enough food to eat, including 153 million children under the age of 5 years. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ estimates that 6 million children die each year as a result of hunger and malnutrition. There is no other natural or manmade disaster that compares to the magnitude of devastation caused by world hunger.

Who is Hungry?
841 million people suffer from hunger, malnutrition and famine across the world; 550 million hungry people live in Asia and 170 million in sub-saharan Africa. In total, 95% of people experiencing hunger live in developing countries. However, hunger has recently grown in severity in countries like the United States and former Soviet Union countries, mainly as a result of poverty.

The World Bank estimates that by the end of 2010, 89 million more people will be living in extreme poverty– surviving off less than $1.25 per day.

The Extent of the Problem

40,000 children under age five die every day from hunger and preventable diseases. That’s 24 children a minute; equal to three 747’s crashing every hour, every day, all year.
The loss of human life from hunger is greater than if an atomic bomb were to be dropped on a densely populated area every three days.
One in every five people in the world is hungry.
More people have died from hunger in the past two years that were killed in World War I and World War II combined.
70% of childhood deaths are associated with malnutrition and preventable diseases.
70% of people in Asia live in extreme poverty.

Boston marathon bombing – tragedy – 3 killed, a hundred injured
Iran earthquake – 40 plus killed, hundreds injured
40 thousand children under 5 die every day from hunger and preventable diseases – we do nothing. we don’t even take time to grieve, mourn.

surely that would be a good place to start focusing our energy, concern?

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